With complete amazement, I recently shared on Facebook, “I am thrilled to announce that I just signed with Cyle Young at Hartline Literary Agency to write my first book. My heart is beyond overwhelmed by God’s great grace.”
I can hardly believe it myself! How can this be?
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”
That time came for me nearly six and a half years ago. Book marked in my mind, it is the page I will always come back too. I must come back to it.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” as Dickens said in his classic A Tale of Two Cities.
But how can those two possibly coexist? Somehow, in that moment forever dog-earred in my life, I knew they did.
The worst of times left me alone in my bedroom and on my face in total desperation. The walls I’d spent thirty-two years erecting around my heart had shattered. My deceitfully wicked heart fully exposed.
Trauma and extreme hardship had revealed a level of pain I never knew existed.
And I was done. Utterly done.
The best of times came simultaneously as I cried out to Jesus Christ. Though I’d professed to have done this as a little girl, this was the moment I’d waited my whole life for. The moment I was created to have.
Love Himself met me on the floor that day.
In my pit. In my ugliness. He surrounded me with beautifully accepting love when I should’ve been put out.
Certain of his life-changing grace, I doubted He’d ever be able to use me again. How could He? We both know what I really am.
You’ve ruined everything, Callie.
“God often uses our deepest pain, as the launching pad of our greatest calling.”
I didn’t see it then. I couldn’t.
I think I’m starting to now and if I’m being honest, it scares me.
Yet I know, unequivocally, it is Christ and Christ alone who now lives in me. There’s no more room for Callie, she’s way too controlling.
God graciously allows us to begin again.
Through this blog and if the Lord wills it, through the pages of a book, I yearn for you to know this: no matter how cracked your vessel, no matter how shattered your expectations and no matter how far you’ve gone, you can begin again.
“Mom, I don’t feel good,” my son said on Friday afternoon.
Not the run of the mill, I don’t feel good so I can avoid taking out the garbage or drying the dishes. No, this wasn’t the boy crying wolf.
It really wasn’t even the comment that concerned me but the look. All mother’s know that look.
It told me what my son didn’t even need to.
I saw that look and heard those words dozens of times each day throughout the weekend, only they intensified. After an urgent care visit, a trip to his physician’s office, and a second phone consultation with his doctor we found ourselves rushing to the emergency room. The same children’s hospital where his brothers had spent the beginning of their lives. Where Joshua spent more than 2 months and Isaiah 7 months.
The temptation for anxiety was high. Fighting rush hour traffic to get there, the sounds of, I don’t feel good were replaced with a pale faced grunt every time I squeezed his hand.
I knew I couldn’t make that look go away. No silly jokes or goofy mommy dances could change it. No high pitched attempt at singing his favorite song in opera fashion would do or I would have tried them all.
Simultaneously if necessary.
Grabbing my son’s hand, I prayed, petitioning God for 2 things:
His wisdom and favor with the medical team, and
Grace for Elijah to deal with this painful situation
We were ushered right back to a room where he was treated like the king of the children’s castle. On the way to the room I heard a shriek and was quickly caught up in an embrace. Working in the E. R. that morning happened to be the very same member of Isaiah’s medial team from the NICU more than 8 years ago!
What a precious answer to prayer before we even made it to the room! Turns out the doctor working that day was a believer as well. Just a coincidence, huh?
Favor with the medical team: Check! Thank you Father!
They were thorough, gentle, found the problem and treated it. Although it resulted in terrible pain for Elijah, it turned out to the be the best possible diagnosis!
Wisdom with the medical team: Check! Thank you Father!
When the pressure is on us, what’s inside will come out. I’m always proud of my children but I was blown away by his composure given the amount of pain he was in. On the happy to sad face scale he was a nine! A big ole wincing frown face with tears. After two doses of morphine he was still the wincing frown face. You know, this one:
When the nurse put in his IV, he said thank you! Who says thank you after an IV? My son did. She had what appeared to be a busted blood vessel in her eye. After he began to feel some relief, he looked at her and said,
“I hope you eye feels better.” She told him her eye had been that way for several days and not one person had asked her about it. “Thank you, Elijah, that was very sweet,” she told him.
He was being squeezed, literally and figuratively, and what came out made this Mama’s heart beam.
Grace for Elijah to deal with this painful situation: Check! Thank you Father!
I’m reminded in times like these that,
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
And what a very present help he is.
Whatever pain you may find yourself in today please reach out to Christ. Reach out to me if I can help you, encourage you or pray for you.